Tuesday 30 December 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms!

These spicy and tangy bite sized appetizers will surely please your guests!!

10-12 button mushrooms
100 gms cottage cheese
2 spring onions chopped
2 green garlic chopped
4 tbsp red chilly garlic chutney(see recipe here)
1/4 tsp dried oregano(optional)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 bowl grated mozzarella cheese


  • Pre heat oven at 200 degree C.
  • Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel, carefully break the stems.
  • Finely chop mushroom stems, keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok, add spring onions, green garlic, crumbled cottage cheese, mushroom stems and saute for a minute.
  • Add chilly garlic chutney, dried oregano and salt, mix well.

  •  Spoon the prepared stuffing in mushroom cavities.

  • Top it with some grated mozzarella and garlic chives.

  • Bake for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Serve hot!

Sunday 28 December 2014

Chilli Garlic Chunky Chutney

Spicy hot and tangy chilly garlic chutney, goes well with any kind of veg and non veg starters and appetizers.
  • 250 gms. fresh red chillies
  • 8-10 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

  • Deseed and destem chillies, chop them.
  • Crush ginger and garlic in motar and pestle.
  • Heat oil in a wok, add crushed ginger and garlic, saute till aromatic.
  • Put chopped chillies, add salt and turmeric powder, cook till tender.
  • Add vinegar and mix well.
  • Leave it for minimum 24 hours to mature.
  • You can store this upto 10 days.
I teamed it up with my simple onion rings....and it tasted out of this world!! Wonder why I never did this before!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Baked urad dal khasta kachori

If you love eating kachori, but avoid because it is fried and has high calories, this baked and healthy version of popular Indian snack is for you.
Baked khasta kachori
For Dough:
  • 1 bowl wheat flour 
  • 1 bowl all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/4 cup oil 
  • 1/4 tsp carom seeds 
  • Cold Water to knead dough
For Stuffing:
  • 1 bowl urad dal soaked for 3-4 hours 
  • 5-6 tbsp roasted chickpea flour 
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1/2tsp fennel seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 1 finely chopped green chilly 
  • 1/2 inch piece finely chopped ginger 
  • 10-12 chopped raisins 
  • 5-6 chopped cashews 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp chilly powder 
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder 
  • 1/2 tsp dry mango powder 
For the dough:

    • Sieve together both the flours and baking powder, add salt, carom seeds and oil, rub the flour with finger tips till it is crumbly in textur, knead into a firm dough using water. Cover dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for 20 minutes. 

    For the stuffing: 

    • Heat oil in a wok, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds, saute till aromatic, add chopped chillies and ginger, saute for few seconds. 
    • Add soaked urad, chickpea flour, salt, dry spices powder and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the mixture becomes dry and aromatic. 
    • Add chopped raisins , cashews and dry mango powder and mix well. 
    • Let it cool completely before using for filling in kachori.


    • Divide the dough into 12-14 equal sized balls. 
    • Take one portion and flatten with your fingers to make small puri/roti, the center of the puri should be thicker than the edges.
    • Add 1 tbsp of filling in the center and and seal the edges and make sure the filling is not coming out.

    • Gently press with your hands to flatten it.
    • Make all the kachoris using the same procedure.
    • Pre heat oven at 180 degree c.
    • Arrange kachoris on baking tray, brush every kachori with little oil.
    • Bake for 12-15 minutes from one side or till crunchy and brown.
    • Flip and brush with oil and bake again for 12-15 minutes (depending upon the size of the kachoris)
    • Serve hot with tamarind chutney!

    Thursday 18 December 2014

    Finger Millet & Cream of Corn soup with Stir Fried Veggies

    Last week went completely packed with family get togethers and celebrations. After all those heavy party foods, creamy cakes I was longing for something light, quick yet simple and fulfilling for my meal. So decided to make a steaming bowl of cream of corn and finger millet soup along with some exotic stir fried veggies tossed in an oriental garlic vinaigrette.

    Finger millet and cream of corn soup
    • 1/2 cup sweet corn
    • 2-3 tbsp finger millet flour (ragi)
    • 1 tbsp butter+ 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    • 3-4 cloves garlic
    • 1 small finely chopped onion (optional)
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup green garlic chives
    • 1 cup water
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper

    • Mix finger millet flour along with 5-6 tbsp lukewarm water to make a thick lump free paste, keep aside.
    • In a pan heat butter and olive oil, add minced garlic, saute till you get mild aroma.
    • Add chopped onions and saute for 2-3 minutes or till tender.
    • Add sweet corn, cook for a minute, add milk and ragi paste and let it cook for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously to avoid any lumps.
    • Add water, salt, black pepper, garlic chives and let it boil for another 2-3 minutes or till you get the consistency right.
    • Garnish with garlic chives and serve hot.

    Stir fried vegetables:
    • 3-4 cloves garlic minced + 2 more for dressing
    • 1 small onion finely chopped
    • 7-8 button mushrooms sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper deseeded and julienned
    • 1 yellow bell pepper deseeded and julienned
    • 5-6 baby corns cut into halves
    • 1/2 cup broccoli florets.
    • 1/4 cup green beans cut into halves
    • 1 carrot julienned
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp white vinegar
    • 2 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp olive oil for dressing
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • Few garlic chives to garnish

    • Blanch broccoli florets, carrots and green beans for 2-3 minutes in hot water, drain and pat dry. Keep aside.
    • Heat a pan, add oil, rotate the pan and coat it evenly with the oil.
    • Add minced garlic and onion, cook for a minute.
    • Add all the vegetables and fry for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously.
    • Add soya sauce, salt  and mix well, turn off flame.
    • Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic and black pepper, and pour on the fried vegetables.
    • Garnish with sesame seeds and garlic chives.
    • Serve hot.

    Wednesday 10 December 2014

    Harissa crusted tofu with green peas hummus

    Today's post is very special to me as I'm sharing the recipe from one of my mentors, Shimpa Rathore. Gem of a person, creative genius, brilliant chef and very humble, Shimpa is the owner of a cookery group in Facebook, inspiring many lives.


    For Harrisa Paste:

    • 100 gms Dried Red chillies
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp corriander seeds
    • 3-4 cloves garlic
    • Salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp Olive oil
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

    For Crusted Cottage cheese/tofu:

    • 2 thick slices of Cottage cheese/tofu
    • 1 tbsp harrisa paste
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • Salt to taste

    For Tahini dip:

    • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
    • 3-4 cloves garlic
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

    For Green peas hummus:

    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • 3-4 cloves garlic
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tbsp tahini 
    • 1 tbsp Lemon juice 


    Harissa paste:

    • Soak chillies in hot water for 30 minutes.(do not discard the water)
    • Dry roast coriander and cumin seeds on a skillet until fragrant.

    • Drain, discard stems and deseed chillies, transfer to a mixer/food processor along with whole spices, garlic cloves,salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
    • Grind to a smooth paste. (add water used for soaking chillies, if required)
    • Tranfer this to a jar and drizzle good amount of olive oil on the top.

    Crusted Cottage cheese/tofu:

    • Cut thick slices of Tofu/Cottage Cheese. (I used Tofu here)
    • Mix 1 tbsp harissa paste with 1 tbsp honey, marinate tofu slices in this for 15-20 minutes.
    • Sprinkle little salt on both sides of tofu.

    • Heat oil in a non stick pan and sear on low-medium heat to get a nice crust.

    Tahini Dip:

    • Dry roast sesame seeds in a wok on medium flame till light brown and fragrant.

    • In a  mixer/food processor grind sesame seeds along with garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive to a fine paste ( add warm water if required)
    • Tahini is ready.

    Green peas Hummus:

    • Blanch green peas in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
    • Drain and immerse in cold water.
    • Transfer to a food processor along with garlic cloves, tahini paste, salt and lemon juice and grind to a fine paste.
    • Green peas hummus is ready.


    Spoon some tahini at the base and make a boundry with green peas hummus, place the crusted tofu at the top,sprinkle some black pepper and drizzle good amount of olive oil to serve.

    Sunday 7 December 2014

    Dutch Crunch Bread

    Tiger Bread/Dutch Crunch Bread
    Sunday is the only day when the time flies on the dragon and family time is just too special to let it fly. Thus, I decided to bring some noise in the breakfast cum lunch today with Crispy Bread Rolls. A roll of bread with unique spots, majorly roasted for better crispness, today's discovery is the Tiger bread also known as Dutch crunch in the USA and Giraffe bread in Canada. This one is usually made with sesame oil that throws a distinct aroma. My son munched these little rounds of loaf with a layer of butter, while you may want to try these with different toppings. Recommended for Sunday brunch!

    Recipe adapted from: Brighteyedbaker.


    For the Roll:
    • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 3 cups flour (I used 1-1/2 wheat flour, 1-1/2 all purpose flour)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 1 cup lukewarm milk

    For the Crunch:
    • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1.4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup Rice flour


    For the Roll:

    • Add yeast, water, milk and sugar to a bowl, stir and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

    • When bubbly foam starts to form on the surface add this into flour alongwith salt and sesame oil, knead into soft dough.

    • Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour, dough will double in size.

    • Punch the dough, shape into rolls, place into a greased baking tray, grease with sesame oil and cover with a plastic wrap, let it stand for 45 minutes.

    • Meantime, prepare the top crunch.
    • Mix together all the mentioned ingredients of the crunch  and make paste like consistency, let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

    • Whisk to make a smooth and spreadable paste and let it stand for 15 minutes again.
    • Spread a thick paste of topping on the rolls.

    • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 220 degree C in a preheated oven, or until top turns brown and crunchy.

    Bread baking was not as tough as I thought it was!
    Try it, its fun to see results when the oven door opens up!!

    • Do not add very hot water or milk to activate yeast.
    • If the yeast does not foam, dispose it off and start over again.

    Thursday 4 December 2014

    Earl Grey & Orange Tea Cupcakes

    Super moist, infused with earl grey tea and orange flavours these mildly sweet tea cupcakes are definitely a delight of every heart....

    I love experimenting with my earl grey tea, I've earlier shared Earl grey & mint cake and Earl grey & rose iced tea. Here's another one from my favourite tea.

    • 1 1/4 cup All purpose flour/Maida
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
    • 3/4 cup Sugar ( as per taste)
    • 1/2 cup Oil/ Butter
    • 3 Tea bags Earl grey tea
    • 1 tsp orange essence
    • 2 tbsp freshly grated orange rind 
    • 1/2 cup Milk, at room temperature
    • 1 tbsp Vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water

    Yields: 20-25 small cupcakes
    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking/Baking time:10-12 minutes

    • Preheat oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
    • Line Cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
    • Combine vinegar with  milk, let this mixture stand undisturbed for 5-10 minutes, milk will start to curdle.This can be used as a buttermilk sustitute. Keep aside.
    • Boil 1 tbsp orange rind in water and reduce the water to half.
    • Add 2 tea bags in the orange rind flavoured water and let it brew for 15 mins. Discard tea bags and strain the water.
    • In a bowl cream together butter and sugar.
    • In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda and baking powder .
    • Fold this sifted flour into creamed butter and sugar gently.
    • Add brewed tea and orange rind concentrate, orange essence, buttermilk and mix well, do not overbeat.
    • Empty 1 tea bag of earl grey tea and 1 tbsp orange rind into the batter.
    • Pour the batter into paper/ silicone cupcake liners.
    • Bake for 10-12 min at 180 degree C in a preheated oven. 
    • Transfer Cupcake tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely.